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Are employment background checks legal?

When you are applying for a job, you will take a good amount of time to prepare your resume, and you will want to make sure that you are presenting the best possible version of yourself. If you move to the interview stage of the application process, you probably thought a lot about what to wear, and how to talk about yourself so that you make a great impression.

In your strife to show that you are the best person for the job that you are applying for, there may be certain things that you would not like your prospective employer to know, especially when you believe that they are not relevant to the job for which you are applying.

When a prospective employer conducts a background check on you, he or she may be able to obtain information about you that could affect his or her recruitment decision-making process. This might be very frustrating for you, and you may feel as though it was an invasion of privacy. If this happened to you, it is important to know that you have certain legal rights, and you may be able to take legal action if your rights were violated.

What are my rights in regard to background checks and credit reporting?

Your prospective employer has the legal responsibility to inform you before he or she carries out a background check. He or she must also receive written permission from you before doing so, and then follow up with a certification that he or she does not intend to discriminate or misuse the information.

If you have had your privacy invaded while applying for a job, it is important to take action and stand up for your rights.

Source: FindLaw, "Employment Background Checks and the Fair Credit Reporting Act," accessed April 20, 2018

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